AUSTRALIA [updated 12:20GMT]: Toyota unit plays its part in five-country recall
Toyota units in right hand drive markets have begun their own recall campaigns after Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan on Monday announced its largest largest ever repair programme to fix faulty light switches.
Toyota Motor Corporation Australia is to recall Corolla, RAV4 and Echo vehicles manufactured and/or sold 'Down Under' between May 2000 and July 2002.
Toyota said that, on these vehicles, the headlight dimmer switch contact points may overheat due to high internal electrical resistance. In the worst case, this overheating may cause the headlights to flicker or to become inoperative.
A total of 69,848 vehicles are involved in the Australian market out of the 1,413,328 vehicles subject to this recall across the world.
Toyota noted that there have been no reports of this condition in Australia and no reported cases of injuries or accidents as a result of the problem in any country.
Owners of the Australian vehicles involved in the campaign will be notified by mail from 1 November. Dealers will repair the cars in a process taking about 30 minutes.
According to the Associated Press (AP), Toyota Motor Corp. said the recall affects cars in Japan, Australia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, but declined to detail how much it will cost.
Toyota spokeswoman Ai Ishitoya told the news agency the company was not detailing costs of the recall or giving repair estimates. She added the problem only affected cars with right-hand steering.
Given that, just-auto would be surprised if the recall is not extended to smaller RHD markets such as Hong Kong, New Zealand and Fiji as well.
AP said that The Wall Street Journal had reported that the recall, covering 1.27 million vehicles among 17 car models, would set Toyota back about $127 million, based on an estimated repair price of $100 per car for such a fix but Toyota declined to comment on the report.
Japan's Transport Ministry announced the recall Tuesday, calling it the country's biggest ever, AP added.
The news agency said number of Toyotas recalled exceeded the previous record set in 1996 when Nissan Motor recalled 1.04 million cars in Japan due to a condenser defect.
Toyota last week said it was recalling 160,000 Prius hybrids worldwide due to stalled engines in some cases caused by an electrical problem, the Associated Press noted.